There’s only one recreation left in Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season, and it pits AFC West rivals in opposition to one another on ”Monday Night time Soccer.”
The Las Vegas Raiders are off to a 3-0 begin, and this week they journey to Los Angeles to tackle the Chargers. Derek Carr and Justin Herbert have every been electrical within the early days of the season, they usually’ll have a possibility to placed on a fireworks present on Monday night time.
Can the Raiders stay unbeaten, or will the Chargers hand them their first lack of the season? Let’s break down the matchup, however first, this is a take a look at how one can watch the sport.
The way to watch
When the Raiders have the ball
Derek Carr is at present taking part in on the highest stage of his profession. By three weeks, he is 88 of 136 (64.7 %) for 1,203 yards (8.85 per try), six touchdowns, and two interceptions. Crucially, he is throwing the ball downfield extra typically than ever earlier than, with 18.4 % of his go makes an attempt touring a minimum of 20 yards within the air, per TruMedia monitoring. It is value noting that the Vegas offensive line has held up higher than may have been anticipated heading into the season, as Carr has been pressured on a below-average share of his dropbacks.
It will be attention-grabbing to look at how he operates in opposition to this Chargers protection, which prioritizes taking away the deep go above all else, and which has Joey Bosa to make issues troublesome up entrance. Chargers coach Brandon Staley believes in constructing the scheme from again to entrance, and the Chargers play with two excessive safeties and 6 or fewer gamers within the field extra typically than nearly any crew within the league. They’re completely completely satisfied to ask opponents to run the ball or repeatedly take checkdown throws, betting that they will not be affected person sufficient to maneuver up and down the sphere in small increments with out making a mistake.
That was once how Carr operated on a regular basis. He was all too keen to take the checkdown throw, and often to tight finish Darren Waller. Waller had a monster night time in opposition to the Ravens again in Week 1 (10 catches for 105 yards and a landing on 19 targets) however has been much less concerned within the passing recreation within the two video games since (10 catches for 119 yards on 14 targets). There ought to be alternatives for him to work the brief center of the sphere all through this recreation, nevertheless it’s additionally potential that the Chargers assign stud defensive again Derwin James to observe him everywhere in the area.
It is value noting that they did not do this final week in opposition to Travis Kelce and the Chiefs, preferring as an alternative to bracket Tyreek Hill to remove Patrick Mahomes; deep pictures down the sphere. Would they do the identical in opposition to the Raiders and prioritize taking away Henry Ruggs, who isn’t as harmful a risk as Hill, however gives an identical ingredient of pace and skill to take the highest off the protection? We’ll clearly discover out later tonight.
The Raiders do prefer to run the ball, which may come again to chew a crew in opposition to an opponent just like the Chargers, who’re tremendous with giving up 3- or 4-yard runs if that is what you wish to do. Peyton Barber ran extraordinarily properly final week in opposition to Miami (23 carries for 111 yards and a rating) however was far much less efficient in opposition to Pittsburgh in Week 2 (13 carries for 32 scoreless yards). Josh Jacobs is listed as questionable after coming into the season banged up and hobbling by Week 1, then lacking the final two video games. If he is not full power, he appears considerably unlikely to run everywhere in the Chargers.
But when the road can get sufficient push, every of the Chargers’ opponents have proven that chunk yards could be discovered in opposition to their deliberately tender run protection. Barber and Kenyan Drake aren’t Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, but when they’re deep into the second stage earlier than they get touched, they do not should be.
When the Chargers have the ball
Maybe essentially the most spectacular factor about Herbert’s terrific rookie season was that he was in a position to excel regardless of typically not being put in place to succeed. Herbert had a subpar offensive line in entrance of him, which allowed him to be pressured on 36.7 % of his dropbacks — a price that was among the many 10 highest within the league, per TruMedia.
Fairly than crumbling, Herbert was among the many simplest passers within the league when the push was bearing down on him. His 99.4 passer score in these conditions really was the most effective within the NFL, whereas his 13 landing passes had been second to solely Russell Wilson.
To date this season, the state of affairs has been fairly a bit completely different for Herbert. The Chargers introduced in heart Corey Linsley, guard Zach Feiler, and left deal with Rashawn Slater to fortify the group in entrance of him, and it is labored wonders. Herbert has been pressured on the NFL’s fourth-lowest price, with the push attending to him on solely 25.2 % of his dropbacks — about 8 proportion factors south of the league common. Having performed a pair groups that aren’t precisely identified for his or her ferocious go rush (Cowboys and Chiefs) clearly performs a task in that low quantity, however so does Herbert getting the ball out faster and the road holding up higher on performs the place he has to attend for routes to develop.
Having to face off in opposition to Maxx Crosby, who has generated stress on 17.9 % of his pass-rush snaps thus far this season (ninth-best within the NFL amongst 246 gamers who’ve rushed the passer a minimum of 25 occasions) would be the hardest take a look at they’ve confronted since Week 1. Yannick Ngakoue is not any slouch, both, and each Solomon Thomas and Carl Nassib have carried out robust work as rotational go rushers.
If Herbert has time to throw, he ought to be capable to discover benefits in any respect three ranges of the sphere. Mike Williams is taking part in out of his thoughts by the primary few weeks of the season, with a minimum of seven catches, 82 yards, and a landing in all three video games. His emergence as extra of a weapon within the brief and intermediate areas of the sphere has taken stress off of Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler to do all of that work, and in flip freed them as much as make massive performs of their very own. Ekeler wasn’t focused in Week 1 as he labored his method again from a hamstring harm, however he caught all 15 balls thrown his method in Weeks 2 and three, totaling 113 yards and a rating.
Allen appears prone to see plenty of Nate Hobbs within the slot, and that is a matchup he ought to be capable to win. The fifth-round rookie is off to an excellent begin to the season, however has not needed to cope with anybody remotely like Allen thus far. (The Raiders have performed the Ravens, Steelers, and Dolphins.) Allen’s been within the slot for two-thirds of his routes this season, and he is caught 12 of 15 targets for 137 yards and eight first downs.
Los Angeles largely prefers to let Herbert management the sport by the air, turning to Ekeler, Justin Jackson, and/or Larry Rountree on the bottom solely when the state of affairs is favorable. Ekeler has been efficient when given alternatives in brief yardage and the purple zone, nevertheless it’s not prone to be a giant precedence for the Chargers on this recreation besides in shut down-and-distance, and when the Raiders play gentle containers.
Los Angeles Chargers
Prediction: Chargers 31, Raiders 27
https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/information/chargers-vs-raiders-how-to-watch-tv-live-stream-info-pick-what-to-know-for-monday-night-football/ | Chargers vs. Raiders methods to watch: TV, dwell stream data, decide, what to know for ‘Monday Night time Soccer’